May 19, 2017 By Femi Adekoya
Originally published on Guardian
The Council for Renewable Energy Nigeria (CREN) has advocated the deployment of renewable energy following concerns of possible depletion of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources by 2045.
The Council noted that the current high demand for crude oil and gas for economic development is putting pressure on such resources, hence the need for federal government to deploy large scale of renewable energy resources to meet the nation’s energy needs.
The former Director General, Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) and chairman of the Advisory Board (CREN), Prof. Abubakar Sambo, said: “We cannot just sit as a nation and watch our conventional oil and gas deplete and do nothing. We must seriously go for large-scale deployment of renewable energy resources of solar, wind, biomass, bio fuel and hydro for social economic growth of the country”.
Sambo during the council’s induction ceremony in Lagos, yesterday added that renewable energy is in abundance in Nigeria and the resources are huge, maintaining that if given the required attention, it could significantly go a long way to bridge the gap between supply and demand of electricity with renewable electricity power plants.
In his words: “The major components that might lead to the relatively higher price of renewable energy plants are the solar panels and storage batteries, but with intensive research in developed world, the cost of solar PVs have dramatically come down to the extent that advanced countries are now rating solar electricity as economically viable. Nigeria has to have the political will at the highest level to make renewable energy competitive.”
Earlier, the President, CREN, Mrs. Anita Okuribido, the country has gone far in renewable energy technologies, but stressed that the challenge hindering renewable energy technology is lack of a clear cut policy framework to drive the sector.
She said as a result of this, the council has been collaborating with the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Council (NERC) to have clusters of renewable energy deployed in the space of one megawatt of off-grid solar systems in communities to boost power supply in the country.
“In a year, if we do 10 megawatts in the 774 local governments in the country, it will take us to 7740 Megawatts in one year and that is quite a lot, because presently, power supply is about 3000 Megawatts and if we add 7740 Megawatts, it will take us to more than 10,000 Megawatts which is still not still enough to meet the nation’s power needs. We still have a long way to go, but if all the stakeholders in the renewable energy space put all hands on deck, in the next 15 years we may at least meet up with about 50 per cent of the energy needs of Nigerians,” she said.
She tasked the government on a special concession to renewable energy components and devices currently being imported into the country, saying that the council has started looking at ways of manufacturing these components locally by collaborating with NASENI in the six geopolitical zones to have at least six manufacturing companies for solar panels and other related devices in Nigeria.
“We really want a special concession for forex to be brought down for renewable energy devices. We are inducting about 50 new members into the council which we believe will have a resonating effect of stakeholders and leaders in the renewable energy space and also would go a long way to propel and prepare the new members to deploy renewable energy technologies in huge capacities,” she added.